In 1973 Korg released its first mass-produced mono synth — the miniKORG 700. It’s a landmark instrument, but one that’s often overshadowed by the likes of the Minimoog Model D. And even when it comes to the company’s own products, it’s the MS-20 that usually comes to mind first. Now Korg is finally giving the 700 the recognition it deserves with a 100-percent analog reissue the miniKORG 700FS. The company even brought back the original designer, Fumio Mieda to oversee the development.
To be completely accurate, this is a reissue of the 700S, which came out the following year. It’s almost identical to the 700, except that it adds a second oscillator and a ring modulation circuit for richer sounds. The FS also adds plenty of modern amenities while staying true to the original. Smaller, modern components made it possible to squeeze in a spring reverb tank as well as a joystick for controlling pitch and modulation. The updated keyboard also supports aftertouch, there’s an arpeggiator on board, plus there’s five-pin MIDI in, CV/Gate In and a USB port.
The most iconic part of the 700 — the traveler controls — of course are here. These front-mounted sliders control the separate lowpass and highpass filters. When combined they can give you almost bandpass-esque sounds, and they can be manipulated live to a wah-like effect.
The miniKORG 700 is definitely a unique looking and fairly unique sounding device. But its legacy can be felt even today in Korg’s instruments. In fact, its filter lives on in the Volca Keys and Volca Bass. Just like Korg’s other announcements today though, we have no idea when the miniKORG 700FS will launch or how much it will cost. But, considering it’s a limited edition with a specially built hardcase, we’re not expecting it to be cheap.